The wood in the trees revealed by clever craft
As far as renewable plantation forestry goes, New Zealand has the most narrowly based forest industry in the world. Ninety per cent of it revolves around radiata pine.
And while New Zealand may be good at growing trees, we are not good at adding value to that wood.
One of the best ways of doing so is by converting suitable wood into good quality furniture. The Middle Districts Farm Forestry Association, one of 27 branches of the NZFFA, a net-
‘‘It is the enthusiasm and the skill of the students that has been the most notable feature.’’ Denis Hocking
work of tree growers who practice sustainable land management in rural New Zealand, reckons we could further enhance the value of the industry by supplying a wider variety of suitable locally grown and specialty timbers.
Since 2010, the annual Manawatu–Whanganui Secondary Schools Woodskills competition has been geared towards encouraging just such an approach.
Now in its sixth year, the competition provides opportunities for young crafts men and women to show just how fine wood can be.
Organised by Middle Districts FFA and UCOL Furniture Design and Construction in conjunction with the local Graphics and Technology Teacher’s Association, the Woodskills competition has support from a variety of local businesses, notably Smith-Pilling Rewinds.
Middle Districts FFA president, Denis Hocking is rapt with the continuing quality of the entries.
‘‘The competition has featured some wonderful talent and helped create some superb furniture pieces. But it is the enthusiasm and the skill of the students that has been the most notable feature.’’
Denis says work for this year’s competition can still be submitted. Any secondary school student with a woodcraft piece they would like to enter should contact his or her technical teacher, or one of the organisers.
Prize-giving will take place in the Palmerston North City Library on Thursday October 29 at 5.30pm with Manawatu District mayor Margaret Kouvelis. Open to the public, the event and light supper will feature a demonstration display of woodskill work by UCOL Furniture Design and Construction students.
The entries will then remain on display for two weeks in City Library’s Large Print area on the first floor.
Macrocarpa can be an attractive and productive plantation species with excellent value-adding possibilities.